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Article – SharePoint 2013 New Features – Minimal Download Strategy (MDS)

Posted by Joy

SharePoint 2013 has introduced number of new features and enhancements to improve the overall performance of the SharePoint farm/ solutions. One of them is Minimal Download Strategy (MDS).

Though this is a very simple concept, this is great in terms of improving rendering performance when browsing content. This prevents downloading entire page from the scratch and will download only those portions of the page that have changed. This is all about improving the responsiveness of SharePoint sites.

The way this works is really simple. This takes the concept of Master Pages and Content Pages into next level. Every SharePoint page rendered by combining a Master Page and a Content Page. Technically, Master Page provides the site Chrome and it doesn’t change from page to page. Chrome provide a consistent Header, Footer and Left Navigation for the entire site. Only the Content Page content change from page to page.

In earlier version of SharePoint, even though Chrome doesn’t change, every request downloaded the Chrome content and combined with the Content Page content. But in SharePoint 2013, with MDS, Chrome get downloaded only once and only the Content Page content get downloaded from page to page which minimize the download in tern improve the responsiveness/ performance of the SharePoint site.

MDS is activated by default on the following site templates:

  • Team
  • Community
  • Wiki
  • Projects
  • App
  • Blog

Though MDS is activated by default on the above site templates, you can disable it by setting False to the property EnableMinimalDownload property in SPWeb. This is a per SPWeb property.